Hello world!

by admin on November 27, 2010

Disclaimer: This blog is under construction and is not yet complete. The owner of this blog is a lay person, not an M.D., and he assumes no responsibility for how this information is used, presenting it purely for educational purposes. If you suffer from diabetes, obesity or any other type of medical problem discussed herein, it is strongly suggested that you seek out the guidance of a Medical Doctor.

Do you suffer from brain fog, irritability, depression, an inability to concentrate, low energy level, and trouble losing weight no matter how hard you diet and exercise?

If so, you’re not alone. I suffered from all of these problems and more until I began to find answers that I decided to share with you here.

The good news is that all of these interrelated problems share a common cause that can be solved without too much difficulty: abnormal blood sugar, both too high and too low.

Why blood sugar?

Keeping your blood sugar or serum glucose close to “normal” as possible will enhance your body’s ability to lose weight, sharpen your mental cognition, stabilize your mood swings, and reverse those wrinkles so you can obtain that youthful glow from the inside out!! Understanding the “ABCs of Blood Sugar” will give you the background you’ll need to discover the answers to these common problems.

And that’s just the beginning.

You’ll discover that most Americans have inherited something called the “thrifty gene” from our ancestors who immigrated here and endured periods of starvation and famine and needed the ability to store fat for survival. The Pima Indians of the American Southwest also share this genotype. This “thrifty gene” makes us susceptible to “low blood sugar” levels or hypoglycemia and is worsened by a diet of highly refined and processed foods.

Back in 1975, physicians estimated that approximately ten million Americans suffered from chronic or continuous hypoglycemia. I’m sure these estimates are much higher today given our abundant access to convenience and packaged foods. When one is hypoglycemic, the pancreas responds to these high carbohydrate foods with an overproduction of insulin, resulting in a rapid drop in blood sugar levels. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are varied and usually hard to diagnose. Some common signs and symptoms are: irritability, confusion, clumsiness, anxiety or panic, nervousness, insomnia, visual hallucinations and so on. Usually, these symptoms are often triggered when we’re under stress and we crave these comfort foods high in carbohydrates.

Why carbohydrates?

Aside from glucose, carbohydrates break down into tryptophan which is the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is just one of the many neurotransmitters that the brain needs. It’s known as the “feel good” chemical and alleviates the feelings of anxiety and stress. We’re actually “self-medicating” ourselves by splurging on mashed potatoes with gravy, French fries, and cake and ice cream in order to satisfy our brain’s need for serotonin.

However, these high blood sugar levels overly sensitize the pancreas to respond aggressively to glucose, thereby overproducing insulin. Insulin’s primary job is to transport glucose into the body. Your brain and your body’s muscles need glucose for energy. When our cells are consistently flooded with too much insulin, over time the result is insulin resistance.

With our cells blocking insulin from transporting glucose, the cells and especially the brain become starved of neurotransmitters like serotonin. This occurs despite all that blood glucose circulating in our bodies. In response, the brain sends signals to your body for more serotonin which our bodies interpret and respond by choosing high carbohydrate foods. And thus, the vicious circle begins all over again.

But did you know that the secondary function of insulin is to store any excess glucose as fat? Yes, around the abdomen. It’s also known as visceral fat or that middle-aged “spare tire”. The irony of it all is that when we eat those comfort foods rich with carbohydrates and fat, it’s not the fat that makes us overweight. It’s the carbohydrates that cause blood sugar levels to rise that cause too much insulin that stores excess glucose and dietary fat as FAT rather than burning them as fuel.

Hypoglycemia: a heart breaking epidemic

In short, many Americans are suffering from a silent epidemic of hypoglycemia. Over time, undiagnosed hypoglycemia leads to obesity, insulin resistance, and eventually to Type II diabetes (high blood sugar) and its complications: kidney disease, heart disease, neuropathy or nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, glaucoma, blindness, amputations, and so on. There’s a whole body of research and literature written by medical doctors that explore the connection between hypoglycemia and carbohydrate cravings, alcoholism, and other more debilitating illnesses such as mental illness, depression, and if not diagnosed immediately, death.

And what happens to all that glucose that’s circulating in our bodies? Through a process called glycation, glucose binds to protein such as collagen and creates cross-links that cause these strands to become inflexible. Collagen gives our skin that youthful and supple glow. Glycation results in sagging and inflexible skin, wrinkles, and aging. Researchers believe that glycation may also explain the complications of heart disease and kidney disease that accompany diabetes.

Unless we take steps to correct this problem with insulin resistance, we will suffer from all the problems listed above. I wish I could tell you that the “how” to achieve “normal” blood sugar were as easy as understanding the “why”, but each person is different and will require a combination of diet, exercise, dietary supplements, and lots of trial and error.

Solutions

In this blog you will learn several strategies for correcting these problems:

  • my own personal exercise program and motivational tips to help you exercise more;
  • how to select a nutrient-dense diet and identify which foods are safe to eat and which aren’t;
  • dietary supplements that can help address these problems and how they work in your body;
  • tips on how to use a glucose meter to monitor your blood sugar and see how certain foods affect your blood sugar;
  • articles to help you gain deeper insight and understanding and also challenge and contradict the “conventional” thinking and practices of today’s researchers and doctors. After all, there’s big money behind “illness” and not much profit in “wellness”; and lastly,
  • prayer also helps a lot to stay focused on any program of self improvement and I encourage you to reach out in this way too because none of us is alone.

Visit the section called “Getting Started” to download a free form that I use to monitor and log my daily blood glucose readings. I’ve started posting my own log so you can see my own weight loss progress.

And so, I invite you to take this journey with me back to health and learn what I’ve learned about the “mind and body” connection.

Become a student of your illness to master the keys to wellness!  Read and absorb many of the concepts outlined in the Resources section. But don’t stop there…keep learning and share what you’ve learned with others. And together, we can roll this boulder up the hill and save the lives of your family and friends.

I welcome your ideas, input and inspiration.

Onward and upward!!

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